Parents rushed to the microphones Monday night to ask Charles Pascal questions about the extended day program, but many didn't seem completely satisfied with his answers.
Pascal, the architect of Ontario's full-day kindergarten initiative, was invited by the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board to conduct the first of three public consultations about the program.
The board is grappling with how best to offer extended day programming: the before-and after-school pieces of Pascal's $1.5-billion fullday kindergarten plan, which is in the second year of implementation.
A key issue on the minds of many in the packed auditorium was the definition of "seamless day."
The way the board has communicated or - in the eyes of some parents - failed to clearly communicate its intentions about the extended day program was another issue raised.
One woman said she signed her child up for extended day only to have it later cancelled by the board, leaving her family in the lurch. Rebuilding parents' trust would be difficult, she said.
Pascal said there appeared to be a communication problem, but called for an "adult conversation" about what was best for children and families.
He later said implementation had its challenges. "We're right in the midst of the tough stuff," he said.
Some parents worry about the future of long-running before-and after-school programs for children aged six to 12. Pascal said school-age programs were part of his plan and noted the Liberal platform for the recent provincial election called for a plan for this age group.
- reprinted from the Ottawa Citizen